I answer honestly, though wondering if there was just the slightest possibility that I cared a little too much...
“Erm... Frank, are you alright?” he asks me, an odd, unreadable expression on his pale face, his hazel, bruised eyes clouded over with concern. I just nod, not really sure what had came over me, these thoughts were really beginning to creep me out.
“If you’re sure…”he mumbles, not sounding very certain but he doesn’t say anything else.
“Hello, May I help you?” a young woman, probably in her early twenties smiles welcomingly at us, showing off her perfectly straight teeth and a tongue piecing that glinted in the light. She was dressed in a black shirt that was off one shoulder-the left on that was covered in red stars. Under that she wore a studded belt and black skinny jeans, and an old, beat up looking pair of doc martens.
“Please have a seat, I`m Ari, what can I do for you today?” she asks us and I take a seat whilst Gerard just stands there awkwardly shuffling his converse clad feet.
“My friend here wants a haircut.”
The woman laughs, but not unkindly, her blue eyes gleaming. “well I think you have come to the right place then, eh?” she points behind her at the hair salon, swivel chairs with mirrors In front of them, hairdryers and straighteners laying on tables, sinks at the far right side of the room, white towels and shampoo sitting on the shelf next to them.
“Take a seat over here then, wha would you like doing with your hair then?” he blushes and mumbles something about not being sure.
“Erm, you said you wanted it dyed and the style changed, didn’t you, Gee?”
“Uh huh,” she says, excusing herself to the back room to go and get a colour chart for him.
“What should I get done?” Gerard asks me in a whisper, tugging on the ends of his ebony hair.
“Whatever, just make sure that it is something really different so no one will recogni-“
“Here’s a chart thing, I think your hairs lovely the way it is, but it’s up to you,”
“Erm, thanks,” she smiles at him, and he returns it, my stomach tightening as I watch the hairdresser lead Gerard over to the sinks to pick out a colour and to mix up the chosen colour- a bright red.
it was a long wait as Ari applied the red dye to Gerard`s soft, beautiful hair. It really was a shame to dye it, the colour was lovely just like she had said, but it was too risky to leave it like that. Eventually she rinsed the leftover dye out and led him over to a seat by a mirror an began to cut his hair, asking him questions about it every so often, like what he wanted doing with it, how short he wanted his hair, that sort of thing.
“Well, what do you think?” Ari asks him, after ages of cutting and then drying it and styling it, looking rather tired but pleased with her work.
Gerard starts at the reflection in the mirror, reaching out with his hand to touch the cool glass, a huge shocked grin on his face.
He looked stunning. I shake my head, not sure where that had come from, not really wanting to know. It was true though, his hair had been cut and fell over one eye, the bright red locks shining in the light.
So what do we tell your mom?” we were both back at my house, sitting on the bed, watching some crappy show on the telly.
“Erm, not a clue.” I admit, biting nervously on my bottom lip. What was I supposed to tell her? Mum this is Gerard he is dead and needs some place to stay? I didn’t think so.
“Gee, I don’t think she should know your real name, do you?” whenever the names Gerard or Mikey were brought up in this town, everyone started talking, it wouldn’t be a good idea.
“No, I guess not.”
“Oh shit!” I scream suddenly remembering something important.
“I didn’t go to school today and I forgot to ring in sick, mum will go mental when she finds out I didn’t go, the school`s probably already rung her at work.” I was dead.
“Frankie? Are you upstairs?” I hadn’t heard the front door open, but I could hear her ever nearing footsteps on the stairs. Mum was home early and we still didn`t have out stories straight.
“Frank, are you- oh, hello, who are you?” she enters the room, her smile faltering ever so slightly as she sees Gerard sitting with me on the bed.
“Oh hi mum,” I wave at her, hoping that the school hadn’t phoned her and that she would believe whatever story we came up with.
“This is err-“
“I`m Arthur, one of Frank`s friends from school, it is very nice to meet you,” Gerard extends his hand towards her and she takes it looking more than a little confused. Arthur? I have to bite back a laugh, what kind of name was that?
“Did you come to see if Frank was feeling better?” what? I frown.
“Frank why dint you tell me earlier you were ill, the school phoned me saying that Ray and Bob h told them that you didn’t go because you were ill, I know I was in a rush to go to work but you could have said something.” Oh, good old Ray and Bob, they must have lied and made up some story about me being ill, I would have to remember to thank them.
“Well I was going to go in and try and do some work but then I got really dizzy so Ray said I shouldn’t go in,” yeah, mum, that’s what happened.
“Oh, well I`m glad you feel better now. Is your friend staying for dinner?” she ask, smiling at Gee, who she thought was called Arthur.
“Mom, G-Arthurs parents are away for a while and he has no where to stay as he can’t find his keys, I know I should have asked you first but I was just wondering if maybe he could stay here for a while?” it wasn’t the most convincing lie ever but she seemed to buy it, or maybe it was just her motherly instincts taking over.
“Oh you poor dear!” she exclaims, taking in his way too thin form and still slightly swollen eyes.”Of course you can stay until something is sorted out.”
“Well that was easy,” I smirk at Gerard and lay back on the bed, arms crossed above my head, using my hands as pillows.
He rolls his eyes but I can see a small smile form on his lips.
“Thanks Frankie, I really appreciate this you know.”
He frowns, “I don`t get it though, why?” it was my turn to shrug. I didn’t really know why. At first all I had planned to do was to clean his wounds and get him some food, but now I couldn’t bear to let him go. The only reasons I could come up with were more than a little frightening, they were best not thought about.
“I care, that’s why.” I answer honestly, though wondering if there was just the slightest possibility that I cared a little too much…